Biking the Iditarod

Jill Homer Blazes Through First 130 Miles


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There seriously is nothing out there.

The morning news from the human-powered Iditarod Invitational has snow cyclist Jill Homer not only leading her division but within reach of a course record.

Homer passed through the Fingerlake checkpoint, at mile 130 of the 350-mile race, at 3 p.m. local time Monday. She stayed for an hour before heading out. The record keeper sends this:

Jill Homer is setting a great pace and may be able to beat the womans record to Mcgrath. The current record is held by Kathi Hirzinger-Merchant at 5 days 7 hours and 48 minutes. The overall record is held by Chloe Lanthier-Brandner set in 1998 is 4 days 23 hours and 50 minutes.

Homer's boyfriend, runner Geoff Roes, continues to lead his division, reaching Skwentna (mile 90) just shy of 2 p.m. and heading out at 3:34.

A few stubborn moose have caused problems along the trail, keeping some of the runners, skiers and bikers from reaching checkpoints. It sounds as if race organizers Bill and Kathi Merchant, who are doing the full 1,100 mile race, nearly had to surrender. After the jump, the record keeper's report.

Bonus: Ultracool audio reports from Joe Polk.

Latest news:

More moose tales from the trail. While the weather has been great and the trails are in good condition there are always some unforseen hazards. I just talked with Bill Merchant and he and Kathi were turned back by a very angry cow moose in the trail. Bill told me it was the closest he had been to a moose and that after trying to convince her to leave the trail she became very aggressive and Bill reverted to positioning his bike between him and the moose ready to 'give up the bike to the moose.' I have known Bill for a number of years now and have a good idea of how many thousands of miles he has spent on the trails It had to have been very close for him to prepare to give up his bike, and to turn around unheard of. For people not familar with moose they can be very dangerous when upset and will lash out with thier front legs I have seen this and hope to never feel it. In the past people have died from moose attacks and the area that this moose is in was where Susan Butcher lost part of her dog team a few years ago.

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GO GIRL GO!! WOOHOOO

Sent by Cait A | 10:32 AM | 2-26-2008

Thanks for the very cool Google map coverage. Love it!

Sent by David Hollis, Hamilton, NY | 12:08 PM | 2-26-2008

According to the leaderboard, Jill made it to the checkpoint at Puntilla, 165 miles in, in good time, and left after a five-hour stopover. Go Jill!

Sent by Sarah G | 1:44 PM | 2-26-2008

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